March 29, 2015 Holy Week Begins
Let Holy Week begin.
Did you know that historians estimate that some 200,000 people came to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover at the time of Jesus? As a contrast, consider that “on September 27, 2014 a record crowd of 108,362 attended the Cincinnati game in the Horseshoe where the #22 ranked Buckeyes won 50 to 28.” Perhaps you were there.
Last Sunday Allison Lindsey, granddaughter of Ruth Lindsey, spoke to the high school Sunday School class about her experience at the National Youth Gathering in New Orleans three years ago. She said, “It is an incredible God high to worship with 36,000 young people who believe the same as you do.” This is one of the reasons that we are sending seven—and counting—youth to the National youth Gathering in Detroit this summer.
What about you?
When is the last time that you worshiped with more than a 100 people? 1,000? 10,000?
Different size groups accomplish different purposes, especially in regards to faith:
- A group of 1 Self-awareness & connection with God happen in silence & prayer.
- A group of 4-7 Transformation happens when you are vulnerable, honest & loved.
- A group of 100 Instruction & information happen with community unity.
- A group of 1,000+ Awe and reverence happen when self submerges into the whole.
Throughout the centuries Christians have meet in all of these size groups on a regular basis. Obviously, daily Bible reading, prayer, or reading devotional literature are some of the normal practices most individual Christians do to center their lives in God. Because religion in America is considered to be a private matter, this is the most popular choice.
However, folks who want God to actually transform them meet—usually weekly—in some form of small group. The group must practice total confidentially, generous love, and authentic vulnerability for transformation to take place. (This is why I am so involved in the Via de Cristo movement because it teaches Christians how to do this.)
Weekly worship is instructional, reverential, and encouraging to individual and small group faith. However, rare though they are, extremely large gatherings of Christians fully focused on worship can provide an experience that is life changing.
Which of these types of worship is God calling you to engage in?